Your area rug is a beautiful piece of decor that also helps to protect your floor while making a cozy spot for your feet. Area rugs should last for a very long time when they are cared for in the correct way.
If you are starting to believe that your area rug is in need of a little time, love, and cleaning, you may not know the best way to go about giving your rug what it needs. Area rug cleaning is not too difficult to accomplish on your own, with a little bit of guidance.
Rug cleaning is important not only for the appearance of your area rug, but it will also be an important factor in the lifespan of your rug. Dirt gets trapped in rugs making them look dirty and
also can rub against the rugs fibers, making them start to fray and look ugly then eventually fall apart.
Proper rug cleaning will get most of that harmful dirt out, so that your rug can last longer and look beautiful the whole time. Do be careful, if you have a delicate rug, like a persian, oriental or antique rug, home cleaning is more likely to damage it, so you may need to consult an expert to help you clean the rug.
In the event that you are wondering how to clean a rug, you can go ahead and continue reading this article, as we have put together some of the most helpful tips for how to go about properly cleaning your area rug so that it will look beautiful and last for years.
Know Your Rug
You may never have considered that different materials go into the making of a rug, and each type of material has a unique set of care instructions that are important to follow to get the best results possible and not damage the rug.
If you had the forethought to ask the person who sold you the rug what it is made of, you can just remember what the rug is made of, but if not, you should hope to find a tag with the care instructions on it. If you can not find a tag, you do not know what the rug is made of and the rug is valuable to you, you should seek expert rug cleaners to help you at least identify what the rug is made of and how to clean it.
Some rugs can be very valuable, and if you have an antique rug you may want to even seek an antique specialist to know if you have a valuable area rug or not. If it is a valuable antique rug, you want to be extra careful to make sure it stays preserved.
Now that you know what type of rug you want to clean, you can follow these individual guidelines to get them clean:
Braided rugs made of wool are prized for their strength, their ability to hold colors over years and the fact that the lanolin oil from sheep’s wool will kill bacteria, thus preventing odors. These special qualities in wool also mean that you need to be very careful when cleaning a wool area rug.
You can start with vacuuming the wool area rug, but first test a part of the bottom of the rug, to make sure that the rug is handling this cleaning well. It is possible that the beater bar on your vacuum is too harsh and damaging to the wool fibers. If they break, they will start to look fuzzy and dirty.
If you are not able to vacuum with the beater bar, you can use a different upholstery cleaning attachment, but it will be a long process. You need to be sure to vacuum both sides of the area rug, watch for seams and the corners, which could be damaged if you are not gentle.
For a deep cleaning of your area rug, take it outdoors and hang it over a clothes line, and beat it with a rug beater. You will see clouds of the years of dust coming out of the rug.
Then you can use a damp cloth to sort of wipe the rug, being careful not to get it too wet. Make sure that you give the rug lots of time hanging up to dry under the sun. When you move it inside, make certain it is completely dry before walking on it or placing furniture on it.
Wool area rugs can be really precious, so be careful and consider hiring a rug cleaning company to help. Professional rug cleaning will help to make your wool area rug last for many decades.
Cotton area rugs do not need as much special care as wool, but you still need to be a little gentle to not break the natural cotton fibers. You can be sure to regularly vacuum the top of the rug, and less often vacuum the bottom as well. Keeping dirt from penetrating into the rug will help keep it looking good longer.
If you have just a small cotton rug, it is even possible that it could fit into your washing machine. Make sure that you use the delicate setting and then hang dry it on a sunny day, giving it lots of hours to dry out completely.
Woven Grass or Jute
For a rug made of a whole plant fiber like jute, you can have a pretty simple cleaning routine. Most natural plant rugs are made just to be picked up, taken outside and shaken.
Some natural plant fiber rugs will tolerate some serious water cleaning with a hose, but some you should just wipe with a clean, damp towel and soap. Make sure to hang them dry before using them again, or moisture could stay in the jute too long and it could start to decompose.
Rugs made of polyester or other synthetic materials can be extra easy to clean. If it fits, just throw it in the washing machine with some detergent on the delicate cycle. Then you just have to hang it dry and you can start using it again.
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